Three-time defending Premier League champions Manchester City threw down the gauntlet to title pretenders by obliterating Bournemouth 6-1 to leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur at the summit of the standings ahead of the north Londoners meeting with Chelsea on Monday night. Belgian import Jeremy Doku underlined his mercurial quality by scoring once and setting up three other goals as the Cityzens served notice of their intentions not to give up their crown without a fight.
Liverpool needed an injury time equaliser from Colombian winger Luis Diaz to gain a share of the spoils at lowly Luton Town in a one-all draw that saw the 19-time champions move above Arsenal into third. Mikel Arteta blew his fuse as his Gunners were out-dueled 1-0 at Newcastle United in Saturday’s late kick off. The Magpies are sixth, two points behind Aston Villa who were ambushed 0-2 at Nottingham Forest. In the lower echelons of the division, Sheffield United netted an 100th minute penalty to edge Wolverhampton Wanderers for their first victory this season.
Girona’s fairytale start to Liga Santander continued unabated when they brushed aside Osasuna 4-2 in front of their own fans to seize sole control of the standings. With a little less than one third of the season played, the Catalonia based outfit lead the division by two points from Real Madrid who squandered a bucket load of chances before being held to a goalless draw by Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona remained four points off title pace after outlasting a well chiseled Real Sociedad 1-0 via an injury time header from Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo.Atletico Madrid suffered a 1-2 setback at Las Palmas but still held on to fourth place with a game in hand. Athletic Bilbao meanwhile overcame Villarreal 3-2 at the Estadio de la Ceramica thanks to a goal apiece from the Williams brothers, Nico and Inaki, to move into fifth position with 21 points, one ahead of Real Betis who subdued Mallorca 2-0.
Across the Basque country border, Nice maintained a slender one point advantage over Paris Saint Germain by toppling Rennes 2-0 on Sunday. Luis Enrique’s Parisians had taken over leadership of France’s Ligue One standings by eviscerating Montpellier 3-0 on Friday night with 17-year-old Warren Zaire Emery one of the scorers. Monaco stayed in touch with the top two by dismissing Stade Brest 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Alexander Golovin and Denis Zakaria.
In Italy, Inter Milan’s Argentina World Cup winning striker Lautaro Martinez netted his 12th Serie A goal of the season to help Simone Inzaghi’s Nerrazzuri to a 2-1 victory at Atalanta of Bergamo. Victory kept the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium co-occupants maintain a two point cushion over record champions Juventus who saw off Fiorentina 1-0 via a maiden goal from Fabio Miretti. AC Milan lost ground in the title race after they were ambushed 0-1 by Udinese at the San Siro. Elsewhere, Romelu Lukaku squandered a first half penalty but was the toast of the Stadio Olimpico after he netted the winner in AS Roma’s 2-1 win over Lecce.
Harry Kane equaled legendary striker Gerd Muller’s record of 15 goals in the first ten games of a Bundesliga season when he grabbed a hat trick in Bayern Munich’s 4-0 pummelling of Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Tuchel’s Bavarians remain two points behind Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen who edged a hotly contested duel with Hoffenheim 3-2. A Stuttgart side missing injured Guinean striker Serhou Guirassy fell 0-2 at Heidenheim to lose ground in the title race.